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Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Getting back into the swing of things

By Ashleigh Naysmith
28, Feb, 2013

Ashleigh at Black Rocks

I have found, as I am sure that many do, that a new phase in life can leave one a little unsure of how things will pan out. Having had complications which I (maybe naively) did not expect from pregnancy (i.e. emergency cesarean section and diastasis recti) coupled with unexpected circumstances in the following couple of years, my climbing certainly got a big shot in the foot.

Anyway, I am now in the position of having to try to get back in the swing of things. I would like to think that if train hard I can get back to where I was and better! (And have no doubt, this is my plan! Although I expect it to be nowhere near as quick as I would like it to be!) However, there are a few issues with this. Firstly, I am now by day, a full time mother and by night, a student so I certainly do not have the same level of free time I once had. Nevertheless, this is an issue most people deal with and having less time often makes me more focused with the time I have- so more productive training sessions! Secondly, I am still dealing with injuries. I made the mistake before of thinking ‘oh it will be fine, let’s see how hard I can push it’- obviously a very bad idea. So I will have to pace myself much more than I ever have before, and as far as my stomach muscles are concerned I still don’t know what will happen if I push them too far- there seems to be mixed medical opinions regarding this. But I will presume they will be fine so long as I work up gradually! That thinking always works out, right?! Finally, there is the issue of competing. To get to a stage of placing in competitions I not only having to get back to where I was before but to catch up with my peers who have not had any breaks from climbing. Having said this, I would like to focus on more on climbing on real rock for a while, so will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Getting out on real rock


It is because of this I feel unsure of how things will turn out. There are so many more variables that I did not have to consider before when climbing and training- maybe that’s growing up for you though! Always full of new surprises to make things more ‘interesting’. Of course this uncertainty could be said about anything: you never know what will happen! You can be on top of your game then injure yourself at any given moment and knocked of track for any given period.

So, next steps are: general fitness, endurance, basic strength building and re honing technique. General fitness training is good as it’s is something I can do with a small person in tow. Plus, carrying a 3 year old on your back up a hill certainly makes the workout a bit harder. Even if, at 5’ 2”, I look a little silly carrying a person over half my own size! Strength training will focus on arms of course and gentle buildup of fingers. One finger is prone to injury so can’t rush into that one either! Core will have to consist of ridiculously simple exercises which essentially is just tensing and half sit ups- so when I’m lying on the floor, it is training not idleness! Technique, I intend to improve mainly through bouldering in the peak. Today I had a little session on Cratcliffe boulders with the Phud. Weather conditions were cloudy, cold and dry but the friction wasn’t great and the ground was pretty soggy.

Growing up!

Still, managed to do a few of the Top Boulders which don’t appear to have names. Started with just scrambling up a few problems then did a problem which was essentially just a mantle. Following this, a nice arête problem (B2/5b). Then did a B5/6a rib which had surprisingly good finishing holds! The friction felt pretty good on this one actually. I’ve used the grades that are in the old Rock Fax Peak Bouldering guide but it did seem a bit easy for this grade. After this, moved on to a B3/5c traverse. I enjoyed this as it at least had some hand holds on it! Then did a B3/5c arête problem which flowed nicely. Then moved onto a B3/5c rib which I must admit I made a bit of a pig’s ear of that one, it turned into an inelegant knee and belly flop move. Following this I did a B4/6a slab climb- although I thought there might be a ‘new’ chip in this which I possibly shouldn’t have used. I also had a quick go at a slimy ramp which I believe is meant to be completed without hands, but as I said it was verrrry green and slimy! Decided to leave that for another day along with some nice projects that I had a little look at! Unfortunately, I forgot to charge the camera before going out so didn’t get many pretty pictures!

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In pictures

Ashleigh at Black Rocks

  bouldering

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